Just launched yesterday and once installed, you can assign “trusted” status to one or as many of your contacts as you like. Once you do, that person can add you back to share their location with you as well, or to request your location at any time. Then, if they request your location, you have the option to share it or decline, but if you do nothing, your location is automatically shared with them after five minutes. The goal here is to give your loved ones or emergency contacts the ability to find out where you are even if you’re incapacitated or unable to get to or use your phone.
The arcade opened last Saturday, marking International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Krishna Teja, the co-founder of a company that works with children between Class V and Class IX to encourage design innovations worked with children from schools across India on various design workshops. For this project he got school children from the city to help create these games for the blind.
It resulted in 14 specially-designed games, which were put up at a multipurpose hall of a school, transforming it into the world’s first arcade for the blind. And as the children from Devnar School for the blind arrived, the hall filled with smiles, excitement and laughter. The arcade was also open for parents and other students, but on one condition; they had to enter the arcade blindfolded.
The International Space Station is an amazing place for humans to experience the next frontier in exploration, but there are many dangers for those brave explorers. Obviously being hurled into a vacuum beyond Earth’s atmosphere at high velocity is very dangerous, but there are other dangers for those who stay in space for extended missions of six months to a year.
Extended missions cause a loss in bone density, muscular atrophy, and vision loss. The back of the eye is flattened and the optic nerve becomes inflamed. The structural changes are often permanent, and the astronauts experience blurred vision for the remainder of their lives. Per Noam Alperin of the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, the changes are due to an increase in cerebral fluid density which puts pressure on the eyes and the brain. His research can be viewed here.
NASA will attempt to simulate long term space conditions to find a way of preventing the physical harm that is currently befalling their astronauts.
An upcoming feature for the Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint apps will automatically suggest image and slide deck captions, called alt-text, using AI algorithms. When those files are presented to blind users, computer tools designed to translate the information onscreen into audio will have text descriptions to work with.
Researchers at Palo Alto Network’s Unit 42 threat intelligence team spotted a new Google Android trojan named “PluginPhantom” which leverages the Android DroidPlugin technology to steal user information.
Microsoft is giving away 9 free Christmas albums today. You need to grab this gift before midnight tonight, Pacific Standard Time. Here are the links to the free downloads.
Aymar de Lencquesaing, president of Motorola, and Senior vice-president at Lenovo, announced that a new module will be coming to the Moto Z which will add Tango functionality to the smart phone. Until now, only the Lenovo phab2 has included Tango functionality. Google fell under some criticism for not including its own Project Tango on its new flagship phone, the Google Pixel. Tango offers many exciting possibilities for the blind and visually impaired community. Tango uses cameras and special software to map indoor environments for augmented reality. To get a taste of what Tango can bring to our community, listen to this Spotlight interview between Cool Blind Tech’s Jessica Rickards and the people from Float, who have developed a navigation app for the blind that uses Tango. To read the full details of Mr. Lencquesaing’s announcement, visit PCMag.
Google has trained a deep learning algorithm to detect Diabetic Retinopathy which affects the blood vessels in the Retina, and is the leading cause of blindness in people with Diabetes. This form of automated machine learning which analyzes several pictures of the back of the eye for signs of the disease can make it possible for people to receive a rapid diagnosis and be quickly referred to a Retina specialist before the condition becomes irreversible. In 2014, Google also developed smart contact lenses which were designed to detect diabetes in the eyes. Obviously, Google is working hard on developing methods that can be used to help people with Diabetes before this disease blinds them. The details and results of the algorithm testing can be read here.
Anmol Tukrel, 17, from Toronto, Canada has created an app that helps visually impaired people identify objects and text. A Grade 12 student at Holy Trinity, Anmol designed a new app for the blind that describes things you take photos of with your iPhone or iPad.
nuTonomy has already been testing self-driving cars in Singapore, and now they will begin testing in Boston Massachusetts by the end of 2016. Mayor Martin
Walsh announced a partnership with nuTonomy to successfully launch this life changing project. The benefit to those who are unable to travel independently is enormous. Although many are still apprehensive about autonomous vehicles on the streets of their city, it is a technology that is evolving. Uber has already launched a similar project in cooperation with the city of Pittsburg Pennsylvania. Expect to see many more of these types of collaborations.
coming to a town near you.
Story curtesy of The Daily Free Press.